BOSTON – Isaiah Thomas has had some impressive stretches of play this season, but what he did in the month of January ranks right up there with some of the greatest Celtics who have ever played.
Thomas had a game-high 41 points in Boston’s 113-109 win over Detroit, which brought his scoring average for the month of January up to 32.9 points per game.
Had Thomas scored one more point this month, he would have joined Larry Bird and Paul Pierce as the only Celtics to average 33 points in one month.
After the game, Thomas acknowledged that he knew he was close but added he wasn’t aiming to score 42 points on Monday.
“I was close, but I wasn’t trying,” he said. “I was just trying to do what my team needed me to do.”
That said, Thomas acknowledged how surreal it is that he has played at a level that ranks right up there with some of the greatest players for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history.
“That doesn’t even seem real,” Thomas said. “That doesn’t sound real. So many great players who did it before me, to have my name up there with those legends is like … it’s unbelievable. I’m going to keep trying to catch those guys, and keep winning.”
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game.
When the game was on the line, Thomas squashed any hopes Detroit had of making a last-second comeback. Thomas led all scorers with 41 points, 24 of which came in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics had no answer for Drummond most of the night as he had his way around the rim regardless of who Boston had on him defensively. He finished with a massive double-double of 28 points and 22 rebounds along with three assists and two blocked shots.
The way Crowder has shot the ball lately, he may soon enter the conversation for the league’s Most Improved Player award. He had 21 points on Monday, shooting 6-for-12 from the field and 4-for-6 on 3’s in addition to grabbing eight rebounds.
I don’t get why this kid doesn’t play more for Detroit. It seems every time he gets on the floor, he makes the most of his minutes. Smith had 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting while logging just over 19 minutes.
After missing the last two games with a groin injury, Horford returned to action and delivered a solid performance. He finished with 13 points on 6-for-10 shooting to go with six rebounds and six assists along with tallying a pair of blocked shots.
His defense and ability to provide another post-game threat were important factors in Boston getting a hard-earned win. Smart had 13 points and eight assists along with grabbing five rebounds.
Detroit’s 3-point shooting
We know this is not one of their strengths as a team, but the way they shot it from 3-point range was horrible regardless of how you look at it. The Pistons came into the game ranked 26th in the league in 3-point shooting. They might drop a spot or two after missing 24 of their 27 three-point attempts on Monday.